1. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    Dinner Party Invite

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by sprirj, Jan 14, 2016.

    I'm just jotting down an idea for a short story and I'd be interested to hear any ones ideas or opinions on it.

    It is based on the common conversation filler "if you could invite anyone dead or alive to dinner, who would it be?"

    My idea is that a scientist, plans to do exactly that, but how would you go about collecting dead people's DNA in order to clone them, and who would you like to see at the dinner table?

    Guest number one: Jimi Hendrix - DNA taken from a framed signed photo in MCs house.
     
  2. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    That's an idea with potential. I love me some sci-fi.

    As for the people, I think it's a personal choice. Maybe your leading character could have reasons for selecting certain people, not just picking names out of a hat based on status.

    My personal picks would be somewhere along the times of:

    Carl Sagan
    Jules Verne
    Nikola Tesla
    Jim Morrison
    John Lennon
    Socrates

    There are tons you could choose from.
     
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  3. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    Tesla would be a great one :)

    How would I get hold of his DNA?

    Are there any notable women?
     
  4. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    I'm no expert, but I believe you can get DNA from all kinds of bodily features. I guess the easy way would be to have your protagonist exhume bodies, but that depends on whether you want to make him a grave robber or not.

    As for notable women, there are some, but they might seem quite bizarre.

    The famous female pirates Anne Bonney and Mary Read would be among the ladies.
    Maybe Margret Thatcher, to stare my enemy in the eye.
    Queen Victoria or Princess Diana are possible candidates.

    With all due respect to the ladies, of course, I can't think of many off the top of my head, but I'm sure I could think of plenty if I wracked my brain, though. It's not so much a case of not thinking of many, but more about what I would ask them. I'm basing my choices on Would I like to ask this person something?
     
  5. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't think I'd invite a load of charismatic men round my house, not seemly, thinking more Marie Antoinette, Betty Page, Nell Gwyn...otherwise...

    10.47pm

    Mat: Isaac, why don't you go stroll the garden? Take Jimi with you a while, and Kubrick, and Albert E. God's sake you guys make me itch, you creeps. Turn the music up, more, more Jim Beam. Whose idea was this shit? All the nerds in the world in my house, some kind of nightmare. Listen up, some of us have to go to work in the morning, Sophocles.
     
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  6. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    Kubrick's a good one, or Hitchcock.
     
  7. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    The idea is interesting, BUT, to simply re-create someone from their DNA does not re-create the person. The Jimmy Henrix you get wont be the professional performer and might not know how to play a guitar.

    That said, I would invite Boudicca. Provided we could time travel to get her here, because I want the woman with the actual life experience to talk too, not a replica of her DNA. And we'd need a couple of babel fish to make that possible.
     
  8. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    Fiction my dear, fiction ...

    Just say the scientist someway found a way to extract their memory and personality from DNA, and make up some fancy terminology for it. That's the greatest aspect of writing sci-fi -- exaggerating theories!
     
  9. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    You might be able to extract personality from DNA, but I'm having a hard time buying the extraction of experiences. Maybe a computer chip in their brain with the equivalent of their life in wiki form???
     
  10. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    This is exactly why you shouldn't give you work to writers to critique.

    It doesn't matter. The point is to enjoy the story. It's Science FICTION.
     
  11. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    How is a babel fish and a computer chip in the brain not science fiction??? ;) LOL
     
  12. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    That's why I said terminology, meaning explain why. :p
     
  13. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    The point is to flesh out a novel and find out what is actually important about it.

    The op didn't say if you could "magically" bring people to a table, who would it be? The OP CHOSE a scientist and he CHOSE cloning. OK, so what is it about his particular story that makes it interesting? Nurture vs nature is an obvious one. Dr. M.R Isaweiner insists to these five clones that they are great people, and tries to get them to fulfill what he considers their destiny. Does it work?

    If you want an intelligent novel, you don't hand wave.
     
  14. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    I think you're jumping the gun a little there. He said he has an idea for a novel, gave it, and then asked who you'd like to see around the table.

    You're trying to run a piece of writing through a literature class before it's even been written. The tricks to write something with genuine sincerity and then extract understanding from it. Not the opposite way round.
     
  15. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    The scientist essentially wants to revive Mozart by cloning him. The question of how he plans to revive his personality is a pretty obvious one.
     
  16. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    Yeah, but being able to do that in reality or not doesn't matter. The trick is to make something up and make it sound genuine.

    If you get people saying That's bollocks because we can't do X and Y, then you're reading the story for entirely the wrong reason, and as Stephen King would say, it's a wash.
     
  17. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Making something up is of course one possibility. Will it sound genuine? We won't know till we hear it. So far, nothing genuine sounding has been offered. Exploring realistic avenues and addressing the related questions is another, often more insightful, way to approach one's story.
     
  18. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    Nothing genuine sounding has been offered? Sounds pretty genuine to me. I like the idea. So what if we can't extract memories from the dead. It doesn't mean it's not possible, just like giant sand worms on a desert planet, or a magic ring that makes hobbits disappear.
     
  19. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why does everyone invite Socrates? Why not invite Plato and Aristotle and seat them next to each other so you can bear witness the most intelligent "Yo mama" jokes ever?
     
  20. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    You know, I regretted saying Socrates, because then I thought of Plato and realized I could have inquired about Atlantis.
     
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  21. Masked Mole
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    I second Socrates. He's funny and smart.
    I think Orson Welles would be an awesome dinner guest. He was so brilliant and unique.
     
  22. Ben414
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    I would invite Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower, and have them fight each other for my amusement. It wouldn't really be much of a dinner party.
     
  23. Fighting Kentuckian
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    Fighting Kentuckian New Member

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    Oh, this question. It's always a fun one to think on. My favorites to bring back would be Dean Martin, John Wayne, General Patton, and I could go on.....
     
  24. BayView
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    Elizabeth I would be cool. Shakespeare, although he'd probably just spend all his time kissing up to the Queen.

    Julius Caesar? Hell, invite Antony and Cleopatra, too!

    Catherine the Great?

    Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King?
     
  25. matwoolf
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    Like an AA meeting with all these rock stars who blew out their brains: Cobain, Sid Vicious OD'd, smack my bitch up kind of guys, and also Mamma Cass/ her ham sandwich making amends in purgatory meeting room to Mohammed, be praised. Bowie on the sound system, reckon. Actually Cat Stevens.

    Oh...and OP saying 'Why am I here..?'

    ...conflict, need conflict, phew.
     

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